They’re pretty prominent in the Book of Leviticus.
The same Book that taught the world many of its greatest moral values!
… It’s hard for us to relate to the idea of sacrifices.
It brings images to our mind.
Like the pagan idea of sacrifices.
Bringing sacrifices was pretty compelling to them.
Because the “gods” were angry. Blood thirsty.
And ready to zap you!
But a bloody sacrifice would appease them.
Not the kind of idea that makes us very comfortable.
And not what we expect to find in the Torah.
… Guess what?
There is no such thing as animal “sacrifices” in the Torah.
The service in the Jewish Temple had nothing to do with those pagan ideas.
It was the exact opposite.
The Torah uses the Hebrew word korban. Usually translated as “sacrifice”.
But that’s not what the word means.
It comes from the Hebrew word karov which means to come close.
Which is why it also means a relative.
… The offerings in the Temple were rituals meant to bring us closer to G-d.
Like all rituals they were meant to remind us of who we are.
To remind us that how we live our lives matters.
And that G-d wants us to have a special relationship with Him.
… Jewish tradition has many insights into the message of the offerings.
And my minute is almost up!
But here’s one.
Parts of the animal were put on the fire of the Altar.
They became “fuel for spirituality”.
And that expresses our potential as human beings and as Jews.
To bring spirituality into the world.
All the best,